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Lava on track to reach Pahoa in two weeks

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    This photo taken Wednesday of Puu Oo crater shows a small lava pond, roughly 10 yards, wide, in the southern pit.

Lava advanced about 65 yards since Wednesday toward Pahoa, Hawaii County Civil Defense officials said Thursday after a morning overflight.

The narrow front, about 100 yards wide, is moving northeast along a tree line and may begin to enter areas of light vegetation.

If it continues at its current pace, the lava could reach Apaa Street on the outskirts of Pahoa in about two weeks and cross Highway 130 in about 28 days, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists said.

However, the lava is not an immediate threat to homes and no evacuations have been ordered.

The lava is burning trees and vegetation as it advances, producing a significant amount of smoke, Civil Defense officials said.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists said Wednesday night that the flow has moved about 220 yards since Monday and is about .9 miles from Apaa Street on the outskirts of Pahoa. It’s been averaging about 130 yards a day. But scientists said the flow rate has varied significantly, meaning the projection of when the lava will reach Pahoa is subject to change.

The lava flow started its course toward Hawaii island’s Pahoa town from Kilauea Volcano’s Puu Oo vent on June 27.

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